“Battle” for the metro in Exarchia

The start of work in Exarchia, where the construction of a Line 4 station is planned, turns into a headache for Attiko Metro.

The planned start of work at the line 4 station in Evangelizos and Exarchia has become a headache for Attiko Metro, the operator of the Athens Metro. The first is a reaction to the cutting down of trees in Risari Park, which prompted the company to consider any alternative to restricting the construction site. In the second case, the Attiko Metro brigades, which were trying to carry out – so far small – work on the square, were ousted by a group of anarchists, the true masters of the area. However, in both cases, the company is not discussing the possibility of canceling the construction of the stations. The contract for preliminary work at the stations and wells of the 4th string was signed in the summer. The first construction sites have already been set up at five points: at the two ends of the line (Katehaki and Veiku) and at some of the center’s stations (Akademias, Kolonaki, Evangelismos, Alexandras).

More specific:

In Katehaki, the preliminary work contractor (ERETVO) has completed the test sites and archaeological excavations (without any surprises) and the construction site has now been handed over to the main contractor (the Avax consortium). In Veiku, the required space has been fenced off and test areas have been completed to confirm the location of utilities. Among other things, a large gas pipeline passes through the point, so research on its movement continues. A traffic study has been presented (Veiku Avenue will be one of the streets where traffic will be significantly reduced) and is being reviewed by the Ministry of Infrastructure. Protesting against the cutting down of trees in Risari Park, an anarchist group thwarted research in Exarchia. Archaeological excavations began at the site of the Akademiya station (on the pedestrian Marseille street). At a shallow depth, the foundation of the Elpis City Hospital was laid here: the building was built in 1842, and in 1858 two side wings were added. In 1972, all buildings were demolished (some of them are located on the current street of Marseille, in the planned location of the station exit), with the exception of the original building, which was renovated by the architect Kimonas Laskaris to house the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Athens. The ruins will be torn down and removed in order to continue deeper archaeological research. Test sections have started in Kolonaki and Alexandras. In Evangelism, the construction site was created and “dismantled”. Because protests began against the cutting down of trees in Risari Park. To reassure the population, Attiko Metro is currently looking into limiting the construction site to the “minimum required” in order to accordingly reduce the felling of trees. This incident, however, demonstrates how outside interference, on issues often subjective, can cause problems in the implementation of a public benefit project (recall that the church previously managed to cancel the construction of the extension terminal to Piraeus in the Nursing Home area).

In Exarchia, preliminary work has not yet begun. According to the sources of “Attiko Metro”, the crews more than once (last ten days ago) tried to carry out some initial work (for example, test sites for determining the location of engineering networks), but they were prevented from doing this by a group of “citizens” who asked the builders with batons and an ambiguous look leave. For some reason, the police decided not to intervene. Attiko Metro fears that it will not be possible to build an important transport hub in the area without a “battle”. For this reason, the company intends to repeat information campaigns in the area, and also seeks outlets to the leadership of the anarchists in order to “negotiate”.

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